Monday, July 15, 2019

Looks like I’ll be rolling and writing

In 2017, my understanding of Roll and Write as a concept and as a genre took a huge leap with the GenCan’t Roll and Write contest. Considering the fact that I had already seen that the genre could go past Yahtzee with games like Roll Through the Ages and Zooleretto the Dice Game, I shouldn’t have needed that kick in the bum but apparently I did.

And Boardgame Geek has just finished up a Roll and Write contest. And I just learned that this year’s GenCan’t design contest is another Roll and Write one. The first one released all the entries they got permission to release and I’m hoping that they do the same again this year. In other words, there’s at least one new treasure trove of Roll and Write games to explore. And even if GenCan’t just releases the winner of their contest, it is bound to be a humdinger.

From what I can tell, Roll and Write games have basically exploded over the last few years. Which makes sense from a publishing standpoint. A pad of sheets has to be cheaper than a mounted board, let alone a host of wooden and plastic pieces.

But that same argument applies for me as well. Roll and Write games can be the simplest Print and Play to make. There are a many solid Roll and Writes that I can make myself, either because they are free or get the files for a low price. 

Yes, there are now some Roll and Writes that use cards, not just a play sheet. (Welcome To looks fascinating) And sometimes there are speciality dice that can’t be substituted by a six-sided and a character or sharpie. So it’s not like I’m saying there is no point or value to buying a published version of a Roll and Write.

But there are so many PnP options that, particularly with the option of lamination and dry erase markers, that I am hard pressed to buy published copies. I’m not saying I won’t buy games like Welcome To or such but Roll and Write is an amazing design space to explore within PnP.

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